The Happy Arab News Service

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sharon, Wake Up. Olmert in Coma

Shimon Peres once addressed the residents of Sderot, who are facing almost daily attacks by Kassam rockets, in the following way: Kassams Shmassams. What is this shit? (I quote from memory) What are you whining about?

Today Peres brought his baby, a joint Palestinian Israeli team, to Sevilla to play against the local team. It was not difficult to see that the stadium was close to empty and that even the commentators who covered the game, despite their professed support for peace and Peres, were much more into gossiping about their collegues than into paying attention to what was going on on the field.

The symbolic peace team was playing badly, since the Palestinian players don't have access to any facilities to train themselves, while many Israeli clubs declined to send their best players ( Source).

Meanwhile the situation around Gaza and the so called ceasefire starts looking more tense by day. . .

It has become a curious game of Palestinian Roulette. The rocket that hit a sensitive strategic target near Ashkelon yesterday could have, with a little less luck for Israel, released poisonous chemicals over a densely populated urban center. The rocket that fell in a Sderot nursery school playground could have, with a little less luck, taken the lives of many toddlers.

International opinion is not even aware that some 60 rockets have been unleashed on Israel during what's purported to be a cease-fire. Hence Israel's restraint wins no merit points. Local opinion only hears that "little damage was wrought." But even "little damage" can undermine a town's economy, its social fiber and its psychological fortitude. Sderot's nerves are plainly frayed. --> Source

The Jeruslaem Post's report from Sderot paints a picture of people boiling with anger and about to explode any moment:

After yesterday's early morning volley of four Kassams, some of Sderot's frustrated citizenry began threatening to "take the law into our own hands." The angry talk reflected rising resentment, exasperation and, most of all, an overriding sense of helplessness. Ordinary folks feel their government has abandoned them to the homicidal whims of Gazan terror gangs.

Batya Katar, head of the local Parents-Teachers Association, put it most dispassionately: "Each day we become increasingly convinced that this government has excluded us from the state's territory, from obligations of protection a country owes its population. We aren't part of Israel."

The symbolic peace team eventually suffered no less symbolic defeat of 3-1, but Peres and the mayor of Sevilla were too busy complimenting each other on their contributions to peace and universal brotherhood to notice the symbolic signifance of the outcome of the game. Yet back at home there is brewing something that can soon put Peres' short attention span under severe stress.

This is because it's not only Sderot where people are madly angry. People elsewhere may not talk about this so much, yet anger is in the air everywhere. It's not only in Sderot where people are struggling to hold back the feelings of rising resentment, exasperation and, most of all, an overriding sense of helplessness in the face of this government, whose actions and policies many Israelis find incomprehensible. Never before in my memory the Israeli government was so cut off from people on the street. And the detemination, with which this government is now pursuing an agenda that appeared nowhere during its election campaign, may soon spell big troubles for all involved.

Olmert was lucky to get away so cheaply after having publicly proclaimed that he won't stop the war in lebanon until he gets back the captured soldiers. He is lucky that this whole city is not covered with placards 'Olmert, where are the two soldiers?'. But Olmert is now plainly stretching his luck with his and Livni's peace intiatives.

It's plainly obvious that for Israelis a government, who does not know how to protect its citizens and who leaves captured soldiers behind, should not allow itself any steps that can endanger the nation's security . Land concessions are out of question in this situation. Olmert and Livni may have a point or not, but the situation is not appropriate for them making any dramatic decisions. People are clearly too angry and may soon refuse to put up any longer with this deeply unpopular government that in the eyes of too many has lost any credit of confidence to continue in office. And the unending corruption scandals, involving Olmert himself, just don't help the situation.

It is this mostly unexpressed yet boiling anger and frustration, often raising into an open hostility to the leading figures of this government, including the haples defence minister, and the chief of stuff, that one encounters everywhere. This government should better start paying attention to its own people. Othwerwise both Olmert and Livni, and their friend Peres Shmeres, may soon find themselves in the middle of something they could never imagine.

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